IMDB Link: Pixie (2020)
Director: Barnaby Thompson
Writer: Preston Thompson
Stars: Olivia Cooke, Ben Hardy, Daryl McCormack
Synopsis: To avenge her mother’s death, Pixie masterminds a heist but must flee across Ireland from gangsters, take on the patriarchy, and choose her own destiny.
If there is a reason to see this film, it is because of the performances within it. Olivia Cooke is one of those actresses that I admire, based on the stories she chooses and the projects that she works on. Whilst she may get some festival love for the upcoming film Sound of Metal, she has a lot of fun with her role as Pixie here. I have been intrigued as to where Ben Hardy would go with his career, after hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody and 6 Underground. He does a solid job here as well, with up-and-comer Daryl McCormack also giving a good performance here.
The relationship between the three lead characters is believable, and that is not only down to the performances that they each give. This is much more of a character piece film than I expected, looking into each character’s beliefs and their morals. It is a thriller comedy first and foremost, but there is some heart to it. These characters can come off as cliche and predictable, but it is the moments they break from those stereotypes that have the biggest impact.
This film has a surprising amount of humour in it, and not in the way I was expecting. The editing has fun with the tone, almost playing this story off as a western. From the fun titles that come on screen at the start, the gun fight sequences and the score that is used throughout, the western tone actually plays well on screen. There is also a lot of dark humour, which matches with the dark subject matters and the theme of death which runs throughout the film as well.
The story is nothing that is revolutionary, but it has more weight to it than I initially expected. There is an emotional beat to the story linked to family, and the relationship between Pixie and her father. Whilst not every moment of this storyline connected with me, it is hard to not care about the family dynamic and the actions within it that led to the development of the story. It is the glue that holds the heart and narrative together, and it works as well as it needs to.
The film is quite short, only clocking in at 93 minutes. For what the film does, the time works. It is a quick, fun time that doesn’t overstay its welcome. It does mean that there is less time to develop some ideas further, such as Pixie’s relationship with some people including her ex-boyfriend and her sister, but the pacing works well without those extra plot points.
This film tries to tackle the idea of life in Ireland and the downsides the country has politically and religiously, yet these are used as humour rather than with heart. Whilst it can be shocking to see a Father with his nuns shooting guns inside of a church, there is a question of whether that is a fair representation of what the religion believes and what light they should be shown in. They can come off as stereotypes and purely evil, and that might be a negative stereotype to continually enforce without the research and education behind their morals and system.
This may be the worst time to review this film, given that cinemas in the UK have shut and there is no way to check this film out otherwise for now. However, this was a fun time in the cinema for sure and a nice little flick to watch and support during these times. I was surprised at how much I found myself engaging with the story and premise, and the characters take us on a journey that is hard to forget. It isn’t anything special, but sometimes we just need a good time for 90 minutes. That is what Pixie is.